Home Allergies A to Z Acne Vulgaris

Acne (Mukhadushika - Youvanpidika - Tarunyapidika)

शाल्मलीकण्डकागारपिटका: सरुजोघना: l
मेदोगर्भामुखेयूनांताभ्यांचमुखदूषिका ll

Acne Vulgaris - Causes, Symptoms, and Ayurvedic Treatment

Acne is a skin problem that mainly affects teenagers. It is caused by obstruction of hair follicles and results in whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples. It is related to hormone levels, lifestyle, nature of skin, etc. Acne is not only a physical issue but may also affect the psychological and social aspects of an individual. Ayurveda explains about Mukhadushika which is having the same manifestation of Acne. IAFA promises effective Ayurvedic management for acne. Dr. Gupta’s IAFA is the ultimate center for revitalizing your skin through Ayurveda.

Causes of Acne

Acne is caused by different reasons. Major four reasons are listed below:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Excess oil secretion
  • Oil and dead skin cells getting clogged in hair follicles
  • Excess activity of androgen hormone
  • Menstruation
  • Corticosteroids
  • Pregnancy
  • Family History

Hair follicles are directly connected to oil-producing glands.  Clogging of hair follicles with oil and other particles results in the formation of acne. Stress, certain medications, carbohydrate-rich diet, etc. increase the risk of affection with acne.


Ayurveda says Acne is caused by reasons that vitiate Kapha and Vata dosha. The reasons are related with food habits, exposure to dust and wind, mental factors, etc.

Ayurvedic Reference of Acne Vulgaris

Symptoms of Acne

Signs and symptoms of acne vary in each individual. It is mainly expressed on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulder region as these areas have more oil glands. Major manifestations include:

  • Whiteheads (closed pores)
  • Blackheads (opened pores)
  • Small, red bumps which are tender – Papules
  • Papules with pus at their tips
  • Large and solid painful lumps beneath the skin surface – nodules
  • Painful and pus-filled lumps beneath the skin surface – cystic lesions
  • Raised red spots with a white center – Pimples.

Ayurveda says acne will be painful, hard, deep seated and also pus filled.

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Dr. Gupta’s ensures authentic and fruitful Ayurvedic handling of Acne. Now IAFA is here so that Acne will no longer hurt your beauty and dignity. Institute of Applied Food Allergy® is the ultimate center for revitalizing your skin through Ayurveda”.


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Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist
CEO & Founder of IAFA®

Diagnosis of Acne Vulgaris

Accurate diagnosis of acne vulgaris can be followed by Nidan Panchak in Ayurveda.

Causative Factors of Acne Vulgaris

Aahar (Food Habits)

  • Virudha Aahar (wrong food combinations such as fruits with milk, milk with fish, etc.),
  • Excessively spicy, salty & sour food, curd, and upvasa (fasting).

Manasik (Psychological)

  • Krodh (Anger),
  • Stress etc.

Vihara (Physical Activities)

  • Ati Vyayam (Excessive Physical Exercise),
  • Ati Jagran (Sleeping Late at Night),
  • Daytime Sleep after lunch,
  • Vegvidharana (Suppression of Nature Urges)

Vaya (Age)

  • At Young/ Teen Age.

Predominant Symptoms of Acne Vulgaris

Purvroop in nidan panchak has its own significance because these are symptoms that are produced by the body before the appearance of acne on face. These purvaroop symptoms behave as an alarm to patients and are a very helpful diagnostic tool for an ayurvedic practitioner.  Acne Vulgaris if treated at this stage, is easily curable.

  • Sparshagyatvama (Loss of Touch Sensation)
  • Ati Sweda (Excess Sweat)
  • Asweda (No Sweat)
  • Vaivarnya (Discoloration of Skin)
  • Koth (Appearance of Rash)
  • Kandu (Itching)
  • Toda (Piercing Pain)
  • Shool (Pain),
  • Daah (Burning Sensation),
  • Rukshta (Dryness),
  • Asrijah Krishnta (Reddish Black Discoloration of Skin),
  • Kharata (Excess Roughness),
  • Saptagata (Numbness).

Signs of Acne Vulgaris (Mukhdushika)

Roop in nidan panchak are the symptoms that are easily identified by an intuitive ayurvedic practitioner to get an accurate differential diagnosis.

  • Shalmali Kantakara (just like Thorn of Shalmali)
  • Shopha (Swelling)
  • Saruja (Pain)
  • Ghan (Hard and Thick)
  • Medogarbhamukhi (Collection of Fatty Material inside Boil)
  • Daha (Burning Pain),
  • Kandu (Itching),
  • Vedana (Pain),
  • Raktima (in Red colour).

Method of Examination

To identify the disease whose manifestation isn’t clear, Upshyay can be used. Upshyay means various examination methods to reach a proper diagnosis.

Stages of Formation of Disease

शाल्मलीकण्टकप्रख्या: कफमारुतरक्तजा:।
माधवनिदानक्षुद्ररोग। ३३

Above Sloka explains that Shalmali Thorn (a plant) like eruption on face caused by Vitiliated Kapha (Life Force), Vata (Life Force) and Rakta (Blood) are known as Mukhdushika harm to the beauty of the face. This causes disruption of the face and often occurs at young age, hence called as Youvanpidika. Mukhdushika is explained under Kshudrarog in Ayurveda.

Diet Management of Acne

Pathya (Dos)

  • Take light food
  • Have lot of fruits and salads
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wash face frequently with warm water
  • Adequate sleep
  • Regular steaming of face till complete sweating
  • Daily exercise
  • Eat astringent and bitter taste herbs to detoxify the body

Apathya (Don’t s)

  • Avoid non-vegetarian food especially egg
  • Avoid fried & oily food
  • Decrease use of black gram &pappad
  • Avoid mayonnaise
  • Avoid journey to places with excess dust
  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid touching on pimples
  • Avoid unnecessary make ups and greasy skin products
  • Avoid pollution and direct exposure to sunlight

Yoga and Pranayama for Acne

Following asanas (postures) will be beneficial in reducing causes and effects of acne:

  • Sukhasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Sasangasana
  • Vajrasana
  • Halasana
  • Bhujangasana

Pranayama is very beneficial to relieve stress, which is a leading reason for acne. It also helps to open up body channels and thus makes the skin to breathe properly.


Ayurvedic Treatment for Acne

Ayurveda has an effective treatment for acne focusing on removing the impurities from the root itself. It includes internal and external medicines as well as purification therapies.

Internal Medicines for Acne

  • Aragwadadi Kashaya
  • Padoladi Kashaya
  • Guggulu Thiktaka Kashaya
  • Nimbadi Kashya
  • Avipatty Choorna
  • Brihat Thriphala Choorna

  • Kaisora Guggulu Gulika
  • Thriphala Guggulu Gulika
  • Gandhaka Bhasma
  • Sankha Bhasma
  • Patolasava
  • Nimbasava

External Medicine

  • Triphala Churna
  • Kumkumadi Lepa
  • Lodradi Choorna

  • Rakta Chandana Choorna
  • Eladi Choorna

Purification Therapy

  • Lepana (Application of medicated paste)
  • Raktamoksa (Blood-letting)
  • Nasya (Nasal administration of medicated liquids)

  • Vamana (Emesis)
  • Virechana (Purgation)

Single Herbs Used in the Management of Acne

  • Rakta Chandana (Pterocarpus santalinus)
  • Nimba (Azadirchta indica)
  • Lodra (Symplocos racemosa)

  • Vacha (Acorus calamus)
  • Kumari (Aloe vera)


  1. Gupta A, Upadhyaya Y. Ashtanga Hrudaya, Vagbhata. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Prakashan; 2012. P. 561.
  2. Sharma PV. Chakradatta Tika. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Prakashan; 2012. P 557-558.
  3. 9th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 2007. Sushruta Samhita, Nidana Sthana 13/39, Edited by Vaidya Yadavji Trikamji Acharaya.
  4. Pt. Kashinath Shastri, Dr. Gorakhnath Chaturvedi, Charak Samhita Sutrasthana, 24/16, Chaukhambha Bharti Academy, Varanasi, 2008. P. 445.
  5. Sahil Gupta, Child Health and Ayurveda, Edition 2021, Acne Chapter No. 11, Page No. 49-52.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is Acne?

Answer: Acne is a skin problem characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples due to the clogging of hair follicles with oil and dead cells.

Question: What are the Features of Acne?

Answer: Acne will be characterized in different forms. It may be painful or tender. The pores will be either closed or opened, pus-filled, etc.

Question: How Ayurveda cures Acne?

Answer: Ayurveda provides internal as well as external medicines to remove the discomfort caused by Acne from the base itself

Question: What is the Scope of Ayurveda Treatment in Acne?

Answer: The patient reached an ayurvedic practitioner after trying more than 100+ herbal home remedies with a ray of hope in Ayurveda, IAFA acne treatment is carefully prescribed based on the characteristics of each individual. Have a look at some of our remedies and the uniqueness of our prescriptions! Start IAFA treatment for acne vulgaris.

Question: How long does Acne last?

Answer: Untreated Acne may last for about 4/5years.

Question: Does Acne create complications?

Answer: Yes, if acne is not treated properly it can create compilations like permanent scar effect, anxiety, depression and reduced self-esteem.

Question: Does cystic acne cure by Ayurveda?

Answer: Yes, Ayurveda cures Cystic Acne with no recurrence of disease again.

Question: Does Acne itch?

Answer: Itching is common in Acne.

Question: At what age teenage Acne stops?

Answer: Usually it stops in early 20s but tends to be worse in people with oily skin.

Question: Do Acne scars fade over time?

Answer: Yes, but some Acne scars can become permanent if untreated.

Question: How effective is Ayurvedic treatment for acne?

Answer: Ayurvedic treatment is the most effective one for acne as it follows a comprehensive approach to treat acne from the root. Along with the herbal treatment, ayurvedic treatment also includes changes in diet and lifestyle.

Question: What is the cause of acne vulgaris according to Ayurveda?

Answer: According to Ayurveda, acne vulgaris is caused due to the vitiation of the doshas which in turn aggravate Rakta Dhatu (blood).

Question: What is the Ayurvedic treatment of acne?

Answer: Ayurveda prescribes blood purifying and detoxifying herbs for the treatment of acne that possess bitter and astringent tastes, cooling and mind soothing herbs as well as hormonal balancing herbs if the cause lies in it.

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